Welcome to the Health Activist Writer’s Month Challenge brought together by WEGO Health – a social network for all health activists. Again, I am participating in the annual Writer’s Month Challenge in which I will be writing about my health activism and health condition based upon given prompts.
Thursday 16th April: Life Goal
What’s one thing that your 10-year-old self thought you would do? Can you still do it? How would you approach it to make it happen?
Me at ten years old really seems like a lifetime ago; more than the nineteen years that have passed since.
In all honesty, I cannot remember anything that I thought I would do as an adult. By that age, the dizziness that now is constant in my life, had started. At ten, the dizziness was not constant, but was experiencing episodes of severe dizziness and vertigo. These episodes were becoming very frequent, and as a result, it felt like most of my time was spent waiting for the next attack.
As at the age of 10, I was not really aware of what was happening in regards to my health and the reasons for the dizziness; but experiencing frightening symptoms at a young age can be anxiety provoking. It makes you aware of the present, constantly on edge for the next attack. As a result of waiting and worrying for the next attack of the dizziness, I was therefore not thinking or making plans for the future. I was too preoccupied on the present and the symptoms that were afflicting my life.
Although, as a child who has always been studious, I suppose that I have always had the wish to further my education and attend university. At that age, like many children at that age, my career aspirations were constantly changing; from wanting to become a teacher at one point to wanting to become a nurse during another. Even if I do not make any more of my past aspirations a reality, at least I have made that university plan a reality, gaining a degree in Psychology. Attending university and getting that degree whilst living with a neurological condition, and battling against the dizziness, fatigue and pain was not easy and had to have a lot of help (such as a buddy to take me to lectures) from family as well as the university staff to make it happen.
Fast forward to me at twenty-nine and I suppose I still tend to focus on the present (and occasionally on the past) and not on the future. It can be scary and worrisome to make plans for the future when living with a chronic illness, as we have no control or even an idea as to what our health will be like in months or years to come. Experience from having to cancel plans with friends as a result of chronic illness, warns us of the perils of making short-term plans, so making more long-term plans is even more difficult.
Over the past several years, the symptoms caused by my neurological condition, have become increasingly worse, so looking ahead to the future is a frightening prospect at the thought that in the years to come, my condition will be even worse than it is, therefore, perhaps when living with a chronic illness it is best to live in the present and appreciate all the little happy moments that happens in the here and now.